Barack Obama Rebukes Trump’s Separation of Immigrant Families

The former president took to Facebook to weigh in on the crisis.

Abaca Press/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

Former President Barack Obama used the occasion of World Refugee Day on Wednesday to come out against the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families detained at the US border. His message posted to Facebook was eloquent but unambiguous in its criticism. He argued that empathy for immigrants is a core American value, and he pointed up “the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms.”

“Imagine if you’d been born in a country where you grew up fearing for your life, and eventually the lives of your children,” Obama wrote. “A place where you finally found yourself so desperate to flee persecution, violence, and suffering that you’d be willing to travel thousands of miles under cover of darkness, enduring dangerous conditions, propelled forward by that very human impulse to create for our kids a better life.

“That’s the reality for so many of the families whose plights we see and heart-rending cries we hear.”

Read Obama’s full statement below.

Today is World Refugee Day. If you've been fortunate enough to have been born in America, imagine for a moment if…

Posted by Barack Obama on Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.